We all know that Clayton Kershaw is good at baseball, the best even. But has there ever been a season where Kersh-being-Kersh has been any more vital to the team’s success?
Sure, he has an immaculate trophy case full of individual awards, but this year he seems to be single handedly keeping the Dodgers in the hunt for the division with a patchwork rotation behind him. The Dodgers are without 3 of their ideal starting pitchers (4, if you count the loss of Zack Greinke) and Kershaw has had to go into overdrive.
Clayton has pitched more innings than any other Pitcher in baseball
The only other starter that comes close to the number of innings that Kershaw, Max Scherzer, has pitched a whole extra game. His usage rate is very high because the Dodgers require it of him. With an unstable bullpen, Clayton usually demands to stay in the game longer than expected.
Clayton has the lowest WHIP in baseball
With a WHIP of 0.77, Clayton puts on fewer baserunners per inning than any other pitcher in the MLB. That statistic is a valued advanced metric for the simple reason that Clayton consistently puts less than one batter on base per inning on average. Quick innings are what the Dodgers need nowadays.
Clayton is winning baseball games
The bottom line is that Kershaw is 4-1, and the Dodgers most reliable chance at getting a win on any given night. He is a losing streak stopper, and the fire in the clubhouse the Dodgers need more of.
Fortunately for the Dodgers, tonight is a Kershaw night against the Mets as he looks to earn a split in their series.